Umi was sat precariously on the side of the fountain in the garden room opposite the room she shared with Hikaru and Fuu. She had her bare legs in the water nearly past her knees. With each kick of her feet, the ripples spread further and further across the water, tempting out a small trick of her own easily excited magic, which glimmered on the surface nearest her, with a sparkling iridescence.
They were spending nearly a fortnight of their summer breaks in Cephiro. Part of her wanted to have convinced Hikaru and Fuu to have gone somewhere else this summer. Possibly a place she might not have gone otherwise, or maybe somewhere quintessentially Japanese. When they got home, she would still have two more weeks to talk someone else into a trip - maybe her parents might be interested in going somewhere?
She splashed the water up against the floating crystal in the centre of the fountain. (What was the point of those anyway? They seemed about a useful as the pillars that didn't even touch the ground.) Somehow in the past few months, she'd settled on her decision. After she graduated in March, she was going to move to Cephiro, and the thought was a little frightening.
It wasn't that she hadn't ever moved to a foreign country; she'd lived in several for the years they were travelling for Papa's job. Only that had been moving with her parents and they all were experiencing similar dysphoria together.
This time she was going on her own, or maybe with Hikaru, but Hikaru still hadn't actually decided what she was doing after school - despite their competition to see who could reach Kairu status first. Fuu was still planning to go on to university before moving over, and because of her encouragement, Hikaru was starting to lean toward doing the same.
Umi didn't have any old dreams she was clinging to. She didn't have anything, in particular, she wanted to learn more about on Earth before moving. Anything she might learn, wouldn't exactly be as beneficial to their adopted world, as computer engineering or veterinary science.
There were probably some things that she could learn that might benefit Cephiro.
She did know a bit about foreign relations and discussions of that sort had turned into spending the past few days arguing economics with Clef again - it would probably be easier to explain things if he could actually read her textbooks - because, at nearly seven-hundred and fifty years old, it was ridiculous that he had such little understanding of how money actually worked. Yes, he knew he had a job and that he got paid for it, but he never seemed to really use any of it from what she could ascertain.
What was he even doing with it?
When she asked, he said he was attempting to bolster the local economy by buying things. Any further questions about what sort of things he was buying were met with Clef just shaking his head - his ears going slightly pink - and shooing her out of his office.
Which was what left her on her own, and alone with her thoughts
Fuu was off with Ferio somewhere, and Hikaru was who knows where. Umi wasn't in the mood to go seeking out any of their other friends, and it was technically a workday in Cephiro, so they would probably be busy anyway, if she did.
Pulling her feet out of the water, Umi turned around on the edge of the fountain, letting her legs drip-dry and watching the droplets of water roll down her skin.
What was she even going to do for Cephiro? Did she just want to move here so she could learn magic properly, or was she really going to manage to do something important, or at least more important with her life than running the Ryuuzaki tech company after her mother stepped back?
She sat there for the next half-hour trying to actually consider university as an option but still couldn't convince herself that there was anything she wanted to learn as badly as she wanted to understand how to use her magic for more than brute-force attack spells.
Maybe she wouldn't bring any expertise from Earth with her, but that didn't mean she couldn't become an expert in something Cephiran. Right? All the mages here had jobs and were valuable to the land. They helped. Maybe not on the scale of Clef or those 'Wardens' he'd told her about, the people who helped hold Cephiro together now that there was no pillar, but she could probably do enough to make a difference of some kind.
Maybe she did want to make a mark, a difference, on a scale which would match Clef… but she'd done that once already, as a Magic Knight.
Perhaps there was more virtue in the little, everyday jobs.
If everything went wrong, she could always join the Guard and help keep people safe. Maybe if she didn't worry about it, she'd find something else she wanted to do along the way. She had made up her mind, and there was no point worrying over that when even an hour of sheer panic hand't changed her decision at all.